Cleveland, Ohio - The Youngstown State women's basketball suffered their first Horizon League defeat of the season falling 84-80 to Cleveland State at the Wolstein Center.
YSU (10-10 and 6-1) led by as many as 11 points early in the second half and was up 79-76 with just over two minutes left, but could not hang on. Cleveland State (10-11 and 5-3) closed out the game on an 8-1 run, including scoring the final six points, to pull out the win.
Neither team could shake one another once the Vikings were able to catch up with just over 11 minutes left.
The Guins' biggest lead in the final 10 minutes was 71-65 with 8:26 left, but CSU was able to keep things close for a back-and-forth game down the stretch.
After two Heidi Schlegel free throws with 2:27 left, YSU went on top 79-76. On the Vikings' ensuing possession, Imani Gordon drove the lane and scored to bring CSU within 79-78.
The Penguins had two chances to increase their lead. The first came when Monica Touvelle was long on 3-pointer and Karen Flagg split a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left to make the score 80-78.
After Cori Coleman couldn't connect on a 3-pointer, Kiersten Green grabbed the board and was fouled. Green made both free throws with 40.2 seconds to tie the game.
As YSU crossed half court, Jenna Hirsch had the ball stolen by Adesuwa Aideyman who took the ball down court and laid it in with 25.8 seconds on the clock.
Following a YSU timeout with 16.8 seconds left, Flagg was whistled for a charge giving the ball back to CSU. Aideyman missed two free throws with 10.9 seconds and YSU appeared to catch a break when Kelsea Newman found herself open for a potential game-tying layup. However, Newman's attempt was short and CSU grabbed the board to seal the win.
Schlegel had a team-high 22 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. Melissa Thompson had all 13 points of her points in the first half. That was a season best for her and one shy of a career high. Hirsch had 10 and was the only other YSU player to reach double figures.
CSU had five players scored in double figures led by Coleman's 22 points and nine rebounds. The Vikings shot 37.5 percent (27-of-72) from the field while the Guins made 30-of-62 shots (48.4 percent). Cleveland State attempted 27 free throws to YSU's 13.
In the first half, YSU shot an impressive 64.3 percent making 18-of-28 shots from the field. The Guins connected on 5-of-8 3-pointers (62.5 percent) and were 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Conversely, CSU shot just 36.8 percent (14-of-38) and made 5-of-19 from behind the 3-point arc (26.3 percent).
The Vikings held the lead just over five minutes into the contest before a bucket by Thompson gave YSU at 10-9 lead. CSU tied the game at 12, but LaTisha Walker's layup at the 13:15 broke the tie and the Guins led for the remainder of the half.
The lead swelled to 10 points on two occasions, the first at 39-29 following two Touvelle free throws and the last at 48-38 on a Hirsch 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in the first half.
The Penguins will play their second consecutive road game on Wednesday when they visit Wright State. Tipoff at the Nutter Center is set for Noon.